Fifteen Green Companies Compete For Finalist Slots at the Cleantech Open Today

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of recycled glass from landfills or recycling centers into renewable building bricks. The company won the grand prize at the University of Washington’s 2010 Environmental Innovation Challenge. While conventional bricks cost anywhere from 20 to 25 cents to produce, EnVitrum says its bricks can be manufactured at large scale for 10 to 15 cents each.

GreenStone International, Seattle, WA

GreenStone International develops an enzyme that, when mixed and compacted with clay, creates a durable, waterproof, and environmentally friendly road that is inexpensive to build, and has a lifespan of over 15 years. The startup won the $10,000 grand prize at Seattle University’s Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition in May.

Renewable Energy:

Columbia Power Technologies, Corvallis, WA

Founded in 2005 by Greenlight Energy Resources, in partnership with Oregon State University, Columbia Power Technologies develops commercial wave energy harvesting devices that use off-shore, direct-drive permanent-magnet generator topologies. In June, the company partnered with global renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan to demonstrate and analyze its Manta Wave Energy Converter device in sea trials.

Hydrovolts, Seattle, WA

Hydropower startup Hydrovolts develops drop-in hydropower turbines for canals and small waterways. The companywas the 2009 Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open National Sustainability winner. Last week Hydrovolts was selected as one of five finalists up for $175,000 in venture funding at the Bend Venture Conference. Last month the startup received a $250,000 development deal from civil engineering firm DLZ Corp. to develop a prototype turbine, a deal that could result in a $20 million contract.

Innovatus Energy, Toledo, WA

This biofuels company uses thermal processes to turn biomass into either a hydrogen rich gas that can be used as a gaseous fuel for distributed power, or converted into diesel, gasoline, methanol, ethanol, or jet fuels. Innovatus Energy, originally called Woody Gasifier, changed its name when it expanded its business into biomass energy systems, and gas-to-liquid technologies in April.

Mercurius Biofuels, Bellingham, WA

Mercurius Biofuels was founded in July 2009, with the support of the Whole Energy Fuels Corporation. Mercurius converts biomass into compounds that can create cellulosic diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and a number of other green chemicals. The company currently uses technology licensed from the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), that does not use enzymes or fermentation, which can be slow and inefficient, and does not produce a carbon dioxide byproduct, as cellulosic ethanol does.


Puralytics, Beaverton, OR

Purlytics is a water purification company that uses photochemical technology to remove a broad range of contaminants from water supplies without using chemicals and additives, and with no water waste. The company seeks to get rid of organic compounds (pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, and personal care products), heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, and selenium), and micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and cysts). Purlytics has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).

Energy Storage:

CyVolt, Seattle, WA

CyVolt develops hybrid fuel cell technology to extend the runtime of handheld consumer electronics, when they can’t be plugged in for a recharge. Using renewable fuel, the device captures and stores electrons in its fuel cells that consumers can then swap into the recyclable fuel cartridges when needed. The technology is compatible with most portable electronics that use lithium ion batteries, and is renewable, green, and non-flammable.

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Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at or follow her on Twitter at Follow @

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